Every day, we speak to practice owners who are in different stages of their career. Some have been in the business for countless years and own multiple practices. Others having been working as an employee at another clinic for a handful of years, and they’ve finally decided to strike out on their own. And some therapists are at the very onset of their career—they’re working part-time at multiple locations and they need a means of tracking all of their appointments and clinical documentation. But regardless of where they are professionally, there are 5 questions about practice management software that we’re asked very frequently.
1) Is it integrated?
Many clinics are concerned with choosing an EMR software that will enable them to both simplify and expedite their processes. The best way of doing so is by working with an integrated practice management software. What this means is that users only require one application to complete all of their scheduling, clinical documentation, and billing taks.
Oftentimes, practice management software vendors will claim that their software is integrated, even though it isn’t. What this means is that the users will require multiple logins to complete certain functions. Additionally, these different components may not communicate with each other. For example, you may need to enter an addendum to a progress note in the clinical documentation part of the software—meanwhile, this won’t automatically update the progress note attached to the invoice. Unfortunately, a situation like this can land you in some trouble.
2) Are there any costs for training or support?
Practice Perfect does not charge users any additional fees for setup, training, or support. Most clinic owners haven’t encountered a practice management software with this kind of model before. In fact, when we tell them that there aren’t going to be any upfront costs to get started, we’re usually met with a sigh of relief.
In many cases, practice management software vendors will charge thousands of dollars upfront just to setup the software for their client. Many clinic owners have said that they felt obligated to use the software afterwards, despite its shortcomings, because they had already invested a large sum of money, and they didn’t want it to be a complete loss.
3) Are there any additional costs for the core features?
Some other practice management software vendors advertise very attractive prices. But have you inquired about the features the features included in that price?
It’s not uncommon for clinic owners to sign up for a EMR vendors because they’re drawn to a very attractive price point. Only later do they realize that they only have access to a portion of the functions. To this point, many of the clinic owners we speak to will pointedly ask us whether they’ll be able to perform all of their scheduling, documentation, and billing by signing up for our software. And we’re always pleased to tell them that they’ll have access to the entire program for one reasonable monthly fee.
4) What happens when you leave?
When searching for a new EMR software, many clinics get so wrapped up in the sign up process that they forget to inquire about what happens when they leave. It’s incredibly important to ensure that you will retain access to your EMR software, and all of your data, indefinitely.
Changing practice management software systems may involve a little bit of overlap. During this period, you’ll need to have access to both systems; the old and the new. It’s not ideal, but this applies to many situations when data migration and training are taken into consideration.
5) Are you locked into a long-term contract?
It’s unfortunate, but sometimes an experience with an underwhelming practice management software vendor will leave a lot to be desired. In these cases, you will want to ensure that you’re not locked in to a long term contract that prevents you from seeking a more appropriate software solution. Many of the clinic owners who we speak to ask us about whether they’ll be locked into a long-term contract–because they don’t want similar situations coming back to haunt them.
Now, we’ll let you enjoy this video highlight the 5 questions every clinic owner needs to be asking their practice management software vendor: